“All dreams are outside of our comfort zone” — that’s how Steve Jobs defined entrepreneur’s and artist’s lifestyle.
Indeed, we live in a world where the best way to stay invisible is to follow the best practices.
To follow what everybody else do in your niche. What is considered to be effective. What is approved.
Indeed, the reason why people create mind-blowingly similar artworks is that some things are known to work.
Like nude girls in sci-fi setting (hello, Artstation).
To not focus on those effective things is to deny the constants of the industry and the web, it seems.
But I won’t buy it.
Here’s 3 amazing benefits of doing dumb things.
1. Stand Out From the Crowd
For the artist, it’s sometimes tempting to crush it with following the ever-green trend of sexy female cyborgs. You know, it’s sexual objectification at its best, but it works!
I’m not denying here the huge talent that goes into making such artworks. But in the long run, it’s not practical to go all in and do what’s trending.
You know, the same goes with naming. The big brand names (Google, someone?) sounds excruciatingly weird too.
For example, if you’re starting a blog about computer graphics, it’s very tempting to name it CgBlog. The conventional wisdom here is that a SEO-friendly name will rank you higher in Google and will attract more eyes to your work.
It’s right and it’s SEO, after all. Who wants to shoot herself in the leg by not letting the keywords drive the content strategy?
Despite the first impression, creating memorable stuff can be more valuable than creating something that follows a trend.
I especially like the quote of Eli Altman:
“At the heart of anything good there should be a kernel of something undefinable, and if you can define it, or claim to be able to define it, then, in a sens, you’ve missed the point”.
Don’t Call it That, a Naming Workbook
2. Gain a New Experience (Which You Wouldn’t Gain Otherwise)
Making stupid things also can have a very far reaching consequences. Often the nerdy work we do on Fridays translate into fun and profitable projects years later.
From my personal experience, I can name a dozen of such coincidences (which are not coincidental, by the way).
Ranging from awkward Rock’n’Roll experiments to other not less exotic exercises.
When I was asked to help my friend to make VFX for his Star Wars fanfic, I was totally skeptical about the outcome. While deeply respecting George Lucas’ universe, I wasn’t sure about spending a month creating Star Destroyers crashing one onto another. Not speaking about rotoscoping the lightsabers.
For some reason, I’ve accepted the challenge of living the life of my friend for a month. And now I’m grateful for that , because this project demanded me to learn After Effects (alongside with numerous compositing tricks).
And when I face the need of doing a complex shot in After Effects, I’m feeling good about taking not-so-well-thought decisions.
3. Make Your Voice Heard
“A lot of people take the desire to not pigeonhole themselves way too far and avoid showing any personality whatsoever”. – Eli Altman
Do you remember Samorost game?
It is unique. It has personality. And it just connects.
Clearly, every piece of art that comes from Amanita Design possesses such undeniable personality. It’s almost like a human being— not perfect, lovely and… stupid (in a good sense!).
By embracing bizarre and humane, peeps from Amanita design established their unique voice. You won’t forget their art, when you see it.
There are more examples.
Check Ryan McGuire’s photos on Gratisography. And when your friends will call it stupid, just call it unique.
Because being stupid really means being unique.
I'm writing a blog post about doing #stupid things. And that's #stupid, after all. pic.twitter.com/SRDMU00n6K
— Gleb Alexandrov (@gleb_alexandrov) June 3, 2015
Over to You
Indeed, it’s often needed to go in the opposite direction and do really freaking stupid things.
In the end it all comes to this: you broadcast your voice alongside with thousands of similar artists and bloggers and starters of all kinds.
To have chances to make your signal heard in this noise, you must broadcast on different frequency.
To set the practicality aside (and end this article on Forest Gump note), doing stupid things is fun.
Do something bizarre now and see what happens.
…And please share this article by clicking the huge and very sexy buttons below (and above!). It means a lot to me.
You Will Also Like These Stupid Tutorials:
Scan Your Face and Create a 3d Pumpkin
I own a pumpkin shop and that tutorial is offensive to me.
Though being unique is always a challenge, but this tutorial was a cool motivation. thnx Gleb.
BTW did sth unique this week. Please have a look man!
Cool! Reminds me of frozen strawberry. )
Thnx Gleb. Every feedback is helpful.
Thanks Gleb, maybe its your overwhelming talent, great sense of humor, or insanely creative and motivational articles but whatever it is, its helped me as an artist and has helped me down the road to my dreams, I’m not there yet, but I’ve decided to begin the biggest project of my life in Blender that may take me months or even years, but I will finish it, and while it may not be the most original of ideas, it will push me beyond my limits in so many ways its indescribable, Your articles have helped in this descision, thanks again AND STAY SO FRIGGIN AWESOME! I hope to be like you when I get older (Only 15, but I’ve been using blender daily for almost 8 months now)
Hey, age doesn’t even matter. I myself is 14 and have been using blender for 2 years now. Starting as early as possible is the best. Good luck for the project.
Thank You for wishing me luck, and Good luck to you on future endeavors as well 🙂
Gleb, thanks for the great article!
I would actually like to ask for some advise. I want to start learning composting and camera tracking stuff, and I’m deciding if I should use after effects or Blender. I guess Blenders sequence editor is quite poorly documented, but on the other side After Effects have sites like Videocopilot.com. Which one would you recommend?
Standing out from the crowd, gaining new experiences and making your voice heard all sound like smart things to do, what a paradox..
Actually you can’t gain from stupid, because if you do, it was not stupid..:)
Sometimes it’s just so hard to tell initially if it will be stupid or brilliant. I guess that’s where the artist’s sixth sense comes into play..
Anyway don’t repeat doing a thing that you know is stupid..
Well said, Jaroslav! We can put it like this: don’t be afraid to look stupid, if your artist’s sixth sense tells you that you are on the right track.
Hey there! Even though watching Inception wasnt stupid, it inspired me kinda hard xD Thats my little tribute toward that wonderful movie :3
Oh and do you know Google X? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_X they’re just working as you’ve described 😀
Yeah, Google X nailed it 🙂